KUALA LUMPUR, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Three people on board a boat which sank off Malaysia's Sabah state on North Borneo passed away after being rescued, officials said Sunday.
Three people have passed away among the 25 people rescued so far, while six people remained missing, said Ahmad Puzi Ab Kahar, Director General of Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.
Shahidan Kassim, a minister in the Prime Minister's Department, told a press conference earlier that 23 people were rescued by tug boats and fishermen, after the skipper and a crew member were rescued earlier on Sunday.
The boat went missing on Saturday when travelling from Kota Kinabalu, the state capital, to Pulau Mengalum, a popular tourist island, 60 km west to Kota Kinabalu. A total of 31 people were on board, including 28 tourists from China and three crew members.
Shahidan said Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, maritime police as well as Malaysian navy and airforce have joined the search efforts.